capital one miles guide

What are Capital One Miles?

Capital One Miles are the rewards currency for four Capital One consumer and small business credit cards. Capital One miles can currently be transferred to 17 airline and hotel partners, redeemed at 1 cent per mile to cover travel purchases, or redeemed other subpar redemption options (covered in detail below).

If you haven’t followed the recent changes to the Capital One Miles program, you may be familiar with the statement credit function. However, the ability to transfer Capital One Miles to airlines and hotels is a somewhat recent addition.

Over the years, you’ve surely seen ads for the Capital One Venture Card that advertised the ability to earn “two miles” per dollar spent on all purchases with no blackout dates. However, until the past few years, the Venture Card was simply a 2% travel cashback card; you could only redeem Capital One “miles” to erase travel purchases — or purchase travel through Capital One — at 1 cent per point.

Then, Capital One launched new airline transfer partnerships in 2018. Even then, at best, Capital One Miles transferred to airline partners at 2 Capital One Miles to 1.5 airline miles. But, it seems that advertising the ability to earn 1.5 airline miles per dollar spent didn’t have the same ring.

However, after several transfer partner improvements in 2021, Capital One has finally reached the promised land. Venture Card and Venture X cardholders can now truly earn 2 miles (or points) per dollar spent with 15 airline and hotel transfer partners.

With these changes, Capital One Miles earns its place alongside American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Points as one of the major transferrable points programs.

What Credit Cards Earn Capital One Miles

Four Capital One credit cards directly earn Capital One Miles. These cards range from the $0 annual fee Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card to the premium Capital One Venture X Credit Card.

Note that there’s a backdoor way to indirectly earn Capital One Miles using other Capital One cards — we will get to that later. However, you’ll need at least one of the following four cards to earn Capital One Miles.

Capital One Venture X Credit Card

The newest card in Capital One’s credit card portfolio is the one making the biggest splash: the Capital One Venture X Credit Card. Don’t let this card’s $395 annual fee scare you away. You can easily make up that annual fee with a couple of the card’s valuable (and easy-to-use) benefits.

The Venture X Card is currently offering the chance to earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 within your first 6 months.

Ongoing benefits of the Capital One Venture X Card include:

  • 2X Capital One Miles base earning rate on all purchases.
  • 10X Capital One Miles on hotels and car rentals when booked via Capital One Travel.
  • 5X Capital One Miles on airfare booked via Capital One Travel.
  • $300 travel credit per cardholder year for bookings made on Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles each account anniversary. That’s slices (at least) $100 off the effective annual fee.
  • Priority Pass Select membership plus access to Capital One’s own network of lounges.
  • Hertz top-tier President’s Circle elite status.
  • Up to $100 in statement credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees.
  • Travel and purchase protections such as primary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Return Protection, Extended Warranty, Travel Accident Insurance, Cell Phone Protection, and more.
  • No additional annual fee for authorized users — and authorized users get perks like Priority Pass, Hertz President’s Circle, and access to Capital One Lounges.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Capital One Venture Card

The Venture X Card is the new card on the block, but the “OG” Venture Card is the Capital One Venture Card. Like the Venture X, the Venture Card earns 2X Capital One miles on all purchases. However, you’ll get fewer perks for the card’s much-lower $95 annual fee.

Eligible new cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 within your first 3 months.

Benefits of the Venture Card include:

  • 2X Capital One Miles on all purchases.
  • 5X Capital One Miles on hotels and car rentals when booked via Capital One Travel.
  • Up to $100 in statement credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees.
  • Two free Capital One lounge visits per calendar year, then $45 per visit.
  • Hertz Five Star elite status.
  • Travel and purchase protections such as secondary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Extended Warranty, Travel Accident Insurance, and more.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

The only Capital One small business card that (directly) earns Capital One Miles is the Capital One Spark Miles for Business. Cardholders earn 2X Capital One Miles on all purchases, or 5X miles on hotel and rental car booked via Capital One Travel. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 after.

New Capital One Spark Miles for Business cardholders can currently earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $4,500 in the first three months after opening the card.

  • 2X Capital One Miles on all purchases.
  • 5X Capital One Miles on hotels and car rentals when booked via Capital One Travel.
  • Up to $100 in statement credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees.
  • Two free Capital One lounge visits per year, then $45 per visit.
  • No additional annual fee for employee cards.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

There is also a no free Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business, though at just 1.25 miles per dollar instead of 2, this would only be a better option for the smallest of spenders.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

The only no annual fee card that earns Capital One Miles is the Capital One VentureOne Reward Credit Card. In exchange for paying no annual fee, you’ll give up a lot of potential mileage earning. The Capital One VentureOne card earns just 1.25X miles on all purchases.

Despite this low earning rate, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards card could provide crucial access to the Capital One Miles program at no extra cost. New cardholders can earn 20,000 bonus miles after spending $500 within 3 months.

The card’s limited benefits include:

  • 1.25X Capital One Miles on all purchases.
  • 5X Capital One Miles on hotels and car rentals when booked via Capital One Travel.
  • If approved for a Visa Signature card, get protections like Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Extended Warranty, and Travel Accident Insurance.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Combine Capital One Rewards Between Multiple Capital One Cards

If you have multiple Capital One cards, you can transfer Capital One Miles — or cashback earnings — between eligible Capital One cards. This can be useful for moving rewards from a rarely-used account to an active account.

Capital One rewards transfers also open up the possibility of converting cashback rewards into Capital One Miles. In short, there are three ways you can transfer Capital One rewards between accounts:

  • From one cashback card to another cashback card.
  • From one Capital One Miles card to another Capital One Miles card.
  • From a cashback card to a Capital One Miles card.

It’s that third option that can be especially lucrative. Say you have a Capital One Savor Rewards card. This card earns 4% cashback on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services.

4% cashback is a great earning rate, but earning 4X Capital One Miles can be much more valuable. And, by converting your Savor Rewards cashback to a Capital One Miles earning card, you can effectively earn 4X Capital One Miles on these purchases.

How to Combine Capital One Rewards Between Accounts

Here’s how to transfer Capital One rewards between your Capital One card accounts:

  • Log into your Capital One account.
  • Open the card you want to transfer from and click the “Explore Rewards” box.
  • Scroll down and click the “Move Rewards” option.

combine capital one miles

  • Choose an eligible card from the dropdown list.
  • Enter how many rewards points you want to transfer.
  • Click “Share” to process the transfer.

Capital One Rewards Transfers are Free

Some airline and hotel loyalty programs charge fees to transfer miles or points between accounts, but you don’t have to worry about that with Capital One. Capital One doesn’t charge a fee to move rewards between accounts.

Transferred Capital One Rewards Don’t Expire

When you transfer ThankYou Points between accounts, you only have 90 days to use the points before they expire. Again, you don’t have to worry about that with Capital One. Transferred Capital One rewards don’t expire.

Capital One Transfer Partners (Airline and Hotel)

Here are the 17 airline transfer partners and hotel points programs to which you can transfer your Capital One miles. Capital One miles transfer to all partners at a 1:1 transfer ratio, unless noted:

Capital One Miles Last updated: March 2022
Transfer RatioExpected Transfer Time
Air Canada (Aeroplan)1:1Instant
Air France / KLM Flying Blue1:1Instant
Avianca Lifemiles1:1Instant
Aeromexico1:1Instant
British Airways Avios1:1TBD
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1:1Nearly instant
Choice Hotels1:11 day
Emirates Skywards1:1Instant
Etihad Guest1:11-2 days
Finnair1:1Instant
Qantas1:11-2 days
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1:11-2 days
TAP Air Portugal1:1TBD
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles1:1TBD
Wyndham Rewards Hotel Program1:1Instant
EVA2:1.51-2 days
Accor Live Limitless (ALL) Hotel Program2:11-2 days
Virgin Red1:1TBD

capital one miles transfer partners airlines hotels

These transfer rates and partners haven’t always been this way. Here’s a quick MilesTalk timeline on the development of the Capital One transfer program over the past few years:

Do Capital One Miles Transfer to United or Delta?

We’re often asked if you can transfer Capital One miles to United. You can’t – only Chase Ultimate Rewards [Guide] can transfer to United. Likewise, we’re asked if you can transfer Capital One Miles to Delta. Again, you cannot – only American Express Membership Rewards [Guide] can be transferred to Delta. Still, using Skyteam or Star Alliance partners, you can book flights on both Delta and United. For example, using Capital One miles transferred to Turkish to book United.

What are the Best Ways to Redeem Capital One Miles?

Capital One lists the eight ways to redeem your Capital One Miles. In descending order from most valuable to least valuable, those redemption options are:

  • Convert Capital One Miles to 17 airline or hotel programs (mostly 1:1 transfers).
  • Book a trip through Capital One Travel (1 cent per mile).
  • Cover travel purchases recently charged to your card (1 cent per mile).

capital one miles purchase eraser

  • Get gift cards (between 0.8 and 1 cent per mile).
  • Redeem through PayPal (0.8 cents per mile).
  • Shop with Amazon (0.8 cents per mile).
  • Redeem for cash back rewards (0.5 cents per mile).

capital one miles redeem for cash

Last but not least, you can transfer rewards to another one of your Capital One accounts. You’ll get 1 Capital One mile per 1 Capital One mile transferred. Or, if your card earns cash back, you can transfer cashback earnings to another cashback card or to a miles-earning card. More on that option later.

How Much are Capital One Miles Worth?

As you can see from the above section, it’s a bit subjective and varies depending on how you choose to redeem. When used to book or be reimbursed for travel, they are worth just 1 cent, but when transferred to a partner like Turkish, you can get crazy value. On balance, we value Capital One miles at 1.6 cents each.

Sweetest Capital One Miles Sweet Spots

As mentioned above, the highest redemption value (or, the best way to redeem Capital One Miles) is found by transferring miles to airline and hotel partners.

However, unlike redeeming Capital One Miles for travel purchases at a flat rate, there’s a lot more variability to the redemption rate you can get from these redemptions. By transferring to the wrong partner or using miles for a low rate, you can end up with less than one cent per mile in value.

On the flip side, you can get multiple cents per Capital One Mile in value from the top redemption offers, which is why they are the best way to use Capital One Miles. Here are 10 of the best sweet spots of Capital One Miles transfer partners:

  • Domestic U.S. flights (including to Hawaii) for 7,500 miles each way in economy or 12,500 miles in Business Class on United via Turkish Miles&Smiles. For just a few more miles, you can fly anywhere in Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean as well!
  • Wyndham Rewards hotel nights from 7,500 points per night. One-bedroom villas from 15,000 points per night. Or redeem as few as 3,000 points plus cash using “Go Fast” rewards.

capital one miles to wyndham

  • Flights to Japan or South Korea for 25,000 miles each way on American Airlines via Etihad Guest. Upgrade to business class for 50,000 Etihad Guest miles or first class for 62,500 Etihad Guest miles each way.
  • Flights to Tahiti for 25,500 miles each way on Air France via Flying Blue.

capital one miles air france to tahiti

  • Business class to northern South America from 30,000 miles each way on American Airlines via Etihad Guest. Awards to Southern South America cost 50,000 Etihad Guest miles each way.
  • Business class to Brussels for 44,000 miles each way nonstop on Brussels Airways via Etihad Guest.
  • Business class to Casablanca for 44,000 miles each way nonstop on Royal Air Maroc via Etihad Guest.
  • Business class to Europe for 45,000 miles each way on United, Turkish Airlines, or another Star Alliance partner via Turkish Miles&Smiles.

capital one miles turkish airlines

  • Business class to the Middle East for 47,000 miles each way on Turkish Airlines or another Star Alliance partner via Turkish Miles&Smiles.
  • Business class to Australia or New Zealand for 62,500 miles each way on American Airlines via Etihad Guest.

What Credit Bureaus are Pulled When Applying for a Capital One Card?

Capital One is one of a few banks that may pull your credit report from all three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax) when deciding whether or not to approve you for a new card.

This is important for a few reasons. First, Capital One may deny your application if you have a black mark on any of your credit bureau reports. Also, you’ll likely get a new hard credit inquiry reported to each of the credit bureaus. This means a likely, but temporary, credit score drop in all three major credit scores when you apply for a new Capital One credit card — whether or not you’re approved.

Capital One Airport Lounges

One of the newest perks of Capital One Venture and Spark Miles cards is the ability to visit Capital One Lounges. The first location in this new network of airport lounges opened in Dallas/Fort Worth in November 2021.

Capital One cardholders have been blown away by the quality of this new Capital One Lounge — from fresh food and made-to-order cocktails to unique perks like an exercise room and yoga studio.

Capital One Lounge Locations and Hours

So far, Capital One has only opened one Capital One Lounge, with two more in the works. Here are the current and planned locations:

  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW): near gate D2, opens at 6 a.m., closes at 9 p.m.
  • Denver (DEN): opens in 2022
  • Washington Dulles (IAD): opens in 2022

Capital One Lounge Access

Not all Capital One cardholders can free access to Capital One Lounges. Here’s how Capital One Lounge access breaks down by card:

  • Capital One Venture X: Unlimited access for cardholders (including authorized users) and up to two guests. Additional guests cost $45 each.
  • Capital One Venture Card: 2 complimentary visits per calendar year. Guests and additional visits cost $45 each.
  • Capital One Spark Miles for Business: 2 complimentary visits per calendar year. Guests and additional visits cost $45 each.
  • All other Capital One cardholders and general public: $65 per person per visit.

Advanced Strategy: Spend on Spark Cash Plus; Convert Cashback to Capital One Miles

If you’re a big spender, you definitely want to give the Capital One Spark Cash Plus a closer look. In short, the Spark Cash Plus is an unlimited 2% cashback small business card.

However, unlike most Capital One credit cards, the Spark Cash Plus is a charge card — meaning it doesn’t have pre-set spending limits. So, big spenders won’t have to worry about making payments partway through the month to avoid running out of available credit.

Also, Capital One won’t report new Spark Cash Plus cards to your personal credit report. That means you won’t have to worry about a high credit utilization number dragging down your credit score.

Rather earn 2X miles on your huge business card spending instead? All you need is also get a Capital One Venture Card, Venture X Card, or Spark Miles Card. Then, move your Spark Cash Plus cashback earnings to one of these cards to effectively convert your earnings into transferable Capital One Miles.

Best of all, the Spark Cash Plus card just launched a jaw-dropping new offer of up to $3,000 cashback. You’ll earn $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first three months and an additional $2,500 once you spend a total of $50,000 in the first six months.

Capital One Application Rules

Like all other card issuers, Capital One has some unofficial rules about who will be approved for a new card and how often you can get a new Capital One card. Here are the current application restrictions Capital One has in place:

Limit on number of cards: Capital One limits the number of Capital One-branded consumer cards you can have to just two. This limit doesn’t include Capital One’s co-branded cards (e.g. Walmart Store Card) or small business cards.

Timing of applications: Capital One will only approve you for one consumer or small business card every 6 months.

Pre-approval: Capital One offers a 9-step pre-approval form for you to see if you’re pre-approved for any Capital One cards. This can be a useful tool to see if you meet the Capital One application restrictions.

For example, I wasn’t pre-approved for any Capital One cards as I’ve opened the Capital One Venture X card within the last six months. In my case, the pre-approval form listed the reason for my rejection as: “there is a currently pending or recently processed application with Capital One.”

Capital One Upgrades, Downgrades, and Product Changes

The state of Capital One product changes is a bit in flux, especially with the recent addition of the new Capital One Venture X.

Capital One Venture cardholders can upgrade their card to the Venture X card. In fact, Capital One is offering some cardholders targeted offers of 50,000 bonus miles for doing so. The upside to upgrading like this is that you can avoid new credit inquiries and a new account on your credit report. However, you’ll miss out on the whopping 100,000-mile bonus currently being offered to new Capital One Venture X cardholders.

if you’re curious about your Capital One upgrade options, you can start by calling the number on the back of your card. Or, Doctor of Credit shared this link to check your upgrade options online.

Since Capital One checks all three credit bureaus when you apply, you might be wondering if Capital One will check your credit report before a product change. Thankfully, this isn’t the case. So, you won’t have to worry about a hard pull of your credit.

You can also call to downgrade a card from a premium version (with an annual fee) to a no-annual fee version, however you’ll give up a lot on your earn rate – in most cases you’ll earn enough less that you’d have been better off paying the annual fee!

If you’re downgrading to save on the annual fee, keep in mind that you need to downgrade your Capital One card 60 or more days before your annual fee posts. If you downgrade within 60 days or after the fee posts, you won’t get a refund of the annual fee that you paid.

Applying for a Credit Card that Earns Capital One Miles

You can use these links:

Bottom Line

It used to be the case that Capital One Miles were nothing more than points you could rebate against travel purchases. But those days are long gone as Capital One has moved full on into the transferable points space, offering a ton of flexibility in redeeming your Capital One Miles.

Capital One Venture X
Capital One Venture X: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 within your first 3 months. Get This Offer

Questions?

Let me know below in the comments, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

JT is a freelance writer who's been into points and miles since 2014 - when he was looking for a way to reduce the cost of a trip to China. That experience prompted him to dive headfirst into the world of airline, hotel, and credit card points and miles. In 2015, JT left his decade-long career in accounting to join The Points Guy. He published over 2,000 articles on TPG before setting off as a freelancer in early 2020. In June 2017, JT and his wife Katie became digital nomads - proving firsthand how points, miles, and credit card rewards can drastically reduce the cost of travel. In 4 years, JT flew over 1 million miles on 67 airlines, visited 43 countries, and maintains elite status with over a dozen airlines and hotel loyalty programs.

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